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How many animals are involvedEach year an estimated 27 million animals in the United States are used in research testing and education About half 14 million estimated are used for testing including drugs Why estimated Data are incomplete on numbers of animals used in each of the three areas Further the Animal Welfare Act requires facilities to report the usage of only primates dogs cats guinea pigs rabbits and certain other species Since rats mice and birds which comprise nearly 90 of all laboratory animals are not included in the annual figures one must extrapolate to determine overall usage in testingWhat are some of the most common tests that use animals Draize -- The test substance is placed in the eyes of conscious albino rabbits usually without anesthesia The resulting damage to the eyes is observed The intent of the test is to predict irritation in humans due to an accidental exposure Cost Up to 1000 per test Time Up to 21 days Skin irritancy -- The test substance is applied to the shaved areas of animals skins to determine sensitivity Cost Varies Time Up to 30 days Acute toxicity -- The Lethal Dose 50 LD50 which determines the amount of a substance that kills 50 of a group of test animals falls into this category and involves animals inhaling or being fed the test substances Acute toxicity tests always end in the test animals deaths Do Federal Regulations require animal testsThe Food and Drug Administration FDA strongly urges cosmetic and household product manufacturers to conduct tests that substantiate the safety of their products and actually encourages the use of alternativesHowever if a product is marketed without tests its producer can be held liable for mislabeling if the product turns out to be hazardous Even this liability can be removed if the product has the label Warning -- the safety of this product has not been determined The FDA has recently taken two positive steps
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